JahAsia Jacobs is broadly invested in questions of student loan debt, Blackness, gender, as well as historical and contemporary labor in the United States. Her research asks how Black Americans are entangled in relationships of obligation at interpersonal and structural levels, and how feeling and religion mediate the ways Black women engage with debt and work. Using ethnographic methods and theories of affect/embodiment, racial capitalism, and gendered political economies, JahAsia explores how student debt informs Black women’s employment trajectories in the United States, and how they, in turn, respond to this experience.
JahAsia graduated (summa cum laude) with a B.A. and departmental honors in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College. She was awarded the Society for Economic Anthropology’s 2020 Harold K. Schneider Prize for her undergraduate ethnography titled “I don’t think a life without debt is possible:” Navigating Restrictive Temporalities, Embodied Debility, and Student Indebtedness among Lewis & Clark College Alumni.” Previously, she worked at the African-American Alliance for Homeownership in Portland, OR and Downstreet Housing & Community Development in Montpelier, VT.